Shopping and Saving Hacks

The last few years we have been in debt free mode over here. We have been working our little tails off to pay off our student loans and are so SO so close to getting there. Our goal for the last few years has been to get rid of our debt and it has been hard, but also so fulfilling! While having our heads in the “save everything we can” mode we have picked up some tips and trick along the way, and I would love to share them with you. Even if you aren’t trying to pay off your student loans like we are right now, who doesn’t like to safe money?! You could be saving up for that dream European vacation, a house, or even a cute pair of shoes. I think all these tips can help in the effort!
Along with saving money, a majority of the ideas, companies or apps listed below have made my life easier. I can’t put a price on how much they have cut down on mundane tasks like running to the store or banks, or looking for deals and coupons. They have ultimately given me more time with my kids, and that is priceless right?!

This post contains affiliate links, but you know I got your back and only share products I love and stand behind. I paid my own hard-earned money on the products I mention, and want to share what I love.

Wal-Mart Grocery pick up and savings catcher: I will do a full review of Wal-Mart Grocery pick up soon, so just you wait. Today, I want touch more on how Wal-Mart grocery pick up has saved us money and not exactly how it works. The big thing for us using Walmart grocery pick up is that I only buy what we need. I am definitely an impulsive buyer, so when I go down the aisles of the store I come away with a lot of random stuff. Yes I need Oreos, random new cereal I havent seen before, and 20 shades of Madeline lip gloss!! NOT.  When I shop on the Walmart app I only get the things I need for our meal plan that week, and it saves me a lot of money (I was shocked the first time how much cheaper it was). I also am better at sticking to a budget because you can see your total at all times while you are adding things to your cart. I can adjust quantity or switch to a different brand that is cheaper if things are too expensive. I also really like that your price will never be more than you expected. If they end up not having something that you bought when you go pick it up, they will substitute another brand but give you the lower cost.  Another plus about Wal-mart is that they price match with everyone! With their savings catcher program you scan your receipt after every visit and they will price match for you and give you the difference back in the form of a Wal-mart gift card. We usually get 5-10 back a month, and don’t have to cut coupons or spend hours comparing ads. It is a super easy way to save money! If you use this link when signing up for Wal-Mart grocery pick up, you will get $10 towards your first order. duh, no brainer! Try it and tell me what you think.

Ebates– I just recently signed up for this and am KICKING myself I didn’t do it earlier! You get cash back whenever you buy something from a store they are affiliated with…. which is honestly pretty much every store I shop at! They send you a check or pay you through pay pal. Incredible right?! I just bought stuff off of Amazon, Nike and Sephora and got 3% cash back for buying stuff I was already planning to get. I wish I would have know about this for Christmas shopping. You can even use it if you use coupons or promo codes, and its an easy thing we do to get money back to put towards our student loans. The only problem I have found with Ebates is that I forget to shop through their link sometimes… I need to get in the habit of checking ebates before I buy ANYTHING.  Use this link and get $15 when you sign up and spend $25. Free money baby!

Southwest Rapid Rewards: It seems funny that I would mention a credit card when I am talking about saving money and becoming debt free, but hear me out. We spend a lot of money that we eventually get reimbursed through a non profit we work with, and it seemed like such a waste to not be getting some sort of money back for the money we were spending. I did a lot of research and decided to go with the Southwest Rapids Rewards card. With their sign up bonus of 50,000 (through this link!) and the accumulation of points, we have been able to get free flight the last year and for 2018. We have flown as a family to Phoenix, San Francisco, Disneyland, and New York for basically free (you do have to pay taxes). It has been awesome for us and I highly recommend it. We haven’t had one bad experience with southwest and I hands down recommend the card. Looking for a rewards card is a great way to get free perks, we have been able to save over $2,000 in flights and use that money to pay towards our student loans and still travel.

Simple. I wanted an Online bank that was easy to use and that I could not overdraft on. I realized I was spending money here and there on fees because I forgot to move money or something dumb. Even though it only happened every once in a while it was adding up. Enter simple! They have a beautiful app (weird to say, but true) that is so easy to use. I love their easy “goals” feature, it has helped me save up for things big and small by making it visual and easy for me to follow. We keep our spending money in this account and can easily see where things are going and what we have budgeted for the month. They have a great feature called “safe to spend” that takes any left over money that isn’t assigned to a goal and lets you know how much extra you have at any given time. It is free to sign up and you get $20 if you use this link for just opening and account and making one purchase. You never have to worry about overdraft fees or overspending because there isn’t even the option. Oh and bonus, if you like pretty things their card is so simple and cute. I get compliments on it 4/5 times I use it. random. Keep in mind that this isn’t a full service bank, it is exclusively online and you don’t get checks or they don’t have a way for you to deposit cash. We use another checking account for those purposes and this is just the account we use for our spending money so it definitely works for us.

Insta cart: This is basically like Wal-Mart grocery pick up meets Uber eats.  There are tons of grocery stores in the system and they DELIVER it to you same day. We use this for Costco and it saves me money from buying all the random things I always find that I HAVE to have. The other plus is that you don’t need a Costco membership. That right there saves you at least $50. Unlike Coscto.com you can buy perishable and fresh produce. I love that I don’t have to drag my kids to the store, wait in lines, and then load up my car…. definitely sounding like the laziest person ever, but seriously it is amazing. Use this link and get $10 when you sign up, and get ready for your life to change.

Acorns: Last but not least is Acorns. This handy little app has helped us slowly but surely save a little here and there that has added up quick.  There of a few different features we have used like “round-up” which rounds up any purchases made on a linked card to the next dollar and invests that change. We also use the “found money” feature which is similar to Ebates that you get a percentage back at participating companies. Unlike Ebates they use you linked cards and you don’t have to shop through their platform but just use your card to get money back. Also instead of sending you a check, they invest your money. We have really liked Acrons and it is so fun to see small amounts of change here or there add up! If you use this link you get $5 for signing up. It a simple and easy way to start investing and save up for something short or long term.
We have been using a combination of these for the last year and even though if isn’t anything crazy or huge, we have definitely saved money that we can us towards our student loans. Hopefully one of these ideas can help you with your goals too!

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